Why not canoe along a river on Koh Chang?
Quite a few people rent kayaks when they visit Koh Chang and paddle around in the sea and , if they are feeling adventurous to the small islands off the Klong Prao and Kai Bae beaches. But if you are staying in the Klong Prao area there is a very pleasant paddle inland which you can do. And, if you are lucky, you might even see elephants swimming in the river.
Most visitors to the island don’t realise that there is an estuary that you can explore by kayak. You won’t see it from the beach, you won’t see it from the road and as there are no guided trips there, you won’t see it mentioned by tour agents.
The first 400 metres of the estuary is lined with renovated fisherman’s houses. Some are restaurants; others are holiday homes or private houses and some are guesthouses. There’s also one large resort – Aana Resort. On the way back, if you’re getting a bit hot stop off at one of the small riverside restaurants – Moley’s Resort or Sapporot Bar for a drink.
Once you paddle past Aana Resort you’ll see speedboats moored which belong to Magic Resort and then a small development of bungalows for monthly rent. These are all rented longterm and are the only place on the island where you can have peace, quiet and a boat mooring for 12 – 15,000 Baht / month. On the left the Klong Plu river feeds into the scenic lagoon. This is the largest river on the west coast of Koh Chang. However, the paddle along it isn’t too interesting. Instead, loo for the smaller river on the right as you pass the bungalows.
This river leads inland and heads up into the hills around the back of Klong Prao village. And although you aren’t far from civilization you’ll feel as though you are. As it’ll be virtually silent. There are places where you can pull into the side of the river and easily get out for a swim.
The river meanders towards the village and after about 10 minutes paddling you’ll come to a sharp right hand corner and will see a wooden platform on the right which is the height of an elephant. This is where Baan Chang Thai elephant camp bring people to bath the elephants. You can paddle further form this point but unless it is very high tide or in the rainy season, you might find the river gets too shallow to go much further.
You can’t guarantee seeing elephants playing in the water here, but during High Season there’s a good chance you will. And whether or not you agree with the concept of riding an elephant whilst on holiday, you’ll see that the elephants do seem to enjoy their time in the water.
This is the area where you’ll be paddling.